Andy Warhol Museum won't be taking Mao silkscreen on the road
Marilyn Monroe, ooh la la. Chairman Mao, no, no, no.
When an exhibit of art from Pittsburgh's Andy Warhol Museum opens in Shanghai on April 28 and Beijing in September, colorful silkscreens of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong will be conspicuously absent. Visitors still will be able to ogle Monroe and Jackie Kennedy.
“We always knew the Maos would be up for question based on the political climate,” said Eric Shiner, director of the museum on the North Side. “I didn't want politics to enter the equation such that we were putting the entire exhibition in jeopardy because we do want to share Warhol's work with people in China.”
Shiner denied numerous press accounts around the country calling the absence of the Mao silkscreens in China “censorship” because, he said, he made the decision. But newspapers such as the New York Times said officials in China's Ministry of Culture objected.
The Warhol is exhibiting more than 300 paintings, photographs, screen prints, drawings, 3-D installations and sculptures as part of the largest retrospective of the Pittsburgh-born artist in Asia and the first in China.
The exhibit debuted in Singapore from March to October with crowds of 40,000 a month, said Ronald Gruendl, spokesman for BNY Mellon, which is supporting the tour. While on display in Hong Kong from Dec. 15 to March 31, the exhibit had more than 100,000 visitors.
“We're not going to comment on the Chinese government's decision,” Gruendl said.
Shiner said five Maos were on display in Hong Kong, and four will be exhibited next year in Tokyo, the last stop on the tour. He said the Warhol did not show any Maos in Singapore because of a ban against displaying any political figure in art.
Neither the Chinese embassy nor the Ministry of Culture responded to inquiries.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Man surrenders after standoff in Middle Hill District
- Carrick crime ‘blitz’ shows early signs of success
- Downtown holiday parade festive, but weather dampens turnout
- Group urges Port Authority of Allegheny County to fund more transit routes
- Penn Hills school board unanimously fires former business director
- SWAT incident in Ross ends peacefully
- Shooting of Pittsburgh cab driver spotlights risks of profession
- Woman dies after bleeding on sidewalk outside Carrick pizzeria
- Newsmaker: David A. Harris
- Alpine touring skiing movement faces uphill climb in Western Pa.
- Police investigating after cab driver shot in Hazelwood